Round 6 AFL Review

Wednesday
Richmond 12.13.85 defeated Melbourne 6.6.42

The Tigers have managed another win for 2019 without their captain or All-star backman, but you wouldn't know it, and that is largely to the credit of the youngsters that have been brought in to the team. These new players are doing so well that they really will need to be pushed out when (or should I say, if?) the Tigers have a full team to select from. It was one of these players, Sydney Stack, who provided the two individual highlights of the match. The first was a great mark in the 3rd quarter, and the second was a sensational hip-and-shoulder on Melbourne's Todd Viney
Even with the score being close across the first three-quarters of the match, it never felt like Melbourne had the fire-power to win the game. For those of you who have been reading these reviews, this is an area I have mentioned more than once; they just don't have anyone who looks like they can help the Dees kick a score needed to win a match; check out their weak final score.

Thursday
Essendon 10.9.69 defeated by Collingwood 10.13.73

Essendon and Collingwood continued their Anzac Day rivalry at the MCG last week, and they certainly made for an exciting contest!
With the Pies bursting out of the gate to take a 33 point lead in the 1st quarter, you may have thought this game was going to be one that would turn out to be 'all sizzle' pre-game but 'all fizzle' for the match. You would have been wrong!
Both teams scrapped, and fought, through the remaining three-quarters, to ensure everyone who attended wouldn't be going anywhere (nope, too much of a risk to go and grab a pie or drink!) until the final siren sounded. When it did, it was Collingwood who had managed to get the win, with Pendlebury taking home his third Anzac Medal after a massively influential game where he ended with 38 disposals and 6 tackles.

Friday
Port Adelaide 12.16.88 defeated North Melbourne 11.6.72

Bottom of the ladder North Melbourne headed over to Adelaide Oval in a match-up against the Port Power last Friday and the match went pretty much to script. Although the end score was just 16 points, the Power never really appeared to be threatened by the Roos. This was reinforced by Port Adelaide having 28 scoring shots to North's 17. When playing against the 17th placed team you can get away with such innaccuracy in front of goal, but against better quality teams, the Power will need to be more accurate in front of the big sticks. If not, they will end up like too many teams this year in having more scoring shots but losing the match.
For the Kangaroos, Ben Brown has had another ordinary game where he provided little impact, which has really robbed the Roos of a strong avenue to goal they need, but Mason probably played his best game of the season in this gap. For the Power, they had a great spread of performances from S. Gray up forward, Tom Clurey down back and their usual quality midfielders providing plenty of drive forward.
A funny moment for me was after Duursma kicked a goal, he celebrated like someone at an AC/DC concert. Just reminded me of being at the Cowes pub on a Saturday night when it was full of people who danced like Peter Garrett.

Saturday
Gold Coast 9.8.62 defeated by Brisbane 16.15.111

Ahhh the battle of the Q's. Is this for Queens? Quiches? Quahogs? Queenslanders...? Yeah, as tempting as it is to run with quahogs, I think we will go with Queenslanders for this review.
Through the first two and a half quarters, this game was a tightly-fought affair, with neither team able to get any form of ascendency. Then things broke open, and it was Lachie Neale who nearly single-handedly grabbed the game by the scruff and made it is own! Not only did he show off why the Lions were so keen to get him from Fremantle, the ex-Docker continued to show the footballing world that he is becoming one of the prominent mid-fielders in the AFL; Neale finished with 28 disposals, half of which were contested; 4 marks; 5 centre clearances and 5 inside 50s, all while running at a disposal efficiency in the 80s. Oh yeah, he also kicked a running goal from 50 out.
At the end of the day the Lions had 14 more scoring shots than the Suns and, most days of the week, that will get you the win. It did.

St. Kilda 10.8.68 defeated by Adelaide 15.7.97
While the Saints have been running hot lately, they suffered the disappointment of losing their captain to injury, not the lead-up you want. Adelaide brought Gallucci in for a sick Gibbs but neither team let these changes have a negative impact on the high standard of play in this match in Melbourne on Saturday.
Both teams showcased quality run, skills and endeavour during the match, resulting in a highly entertaining spectacle for the 28,000 attendees at Marvel Stadium, with the game marking the return to AFL (at least mentally) of Adelaide's Taylor Walker who ended with 4 goals and 7 marks; although his 65% disposal efficiency let him down a bit.
In the end, it was the quality of the Crow's midfield, and quality of their rotations, that enabled them to get a good win against quality opposition.

Sydney 12.7.79 defeated by GWS Giants 18.12.120
What do you get when you take Lance Franklin out of the Sydney Swan's team? A side that will struggle to win a game of footy, and they didn't, with GWS finishing the game off in beast mode! While I feel the result made it look like the Giants had an easy win, that certainly wasn't the case. The Swans put up a great fight for the majority of the game but they couldn't stay with the Giants for those final 35 minutes. It was during this time that GWS was able to build on their good work to run over the top of the tiring Swans.
For the Swans, Rampe and Parker did well in their respective roles, while the Giant's midfielders Coniglio, Taranto and Hopper were prolific and backman Nick Haynes dominated their back-half, finishing with 12 marks as he intercepted so many of Sydney's attacking moves.

Fremantle 13.10.88 defeated Western Bulldogs 9.15.69

From the opening bounce, the Bulldogs were chasing Fremantle's, ummm, tail, and after some great work through the middle, the Doggies managed to get back to 'almost' level pegging at half-time. From there the Bulldogs took the lead in the 3rd quarter but then 300 game celebrator David Mundy (28 disp, 2 goals and 6 clearances) took over and, along with getting his hands on the ball more, he kicked two goals in just a few minutes to give his team the lead again. In spite of Lachie Hunter's great game (32 disp and a goal) of getting his hands on the ball, it was the Docker's Matera who shined brightest in the last when he kicked 3 goals, finishing with a game 5.
For the Bulldogs, it really was a game of missed (see, wasted) opportunities in front of goal, while the Dockers get another win on the board at home and are now in second spot on the ladder.

Sunday
Hawthorn 13.15.93 defeated Carlton 13.10.88

Hawthorn and Carlton headed down to Tasmania for their match at UTAS in Launceston on a chilly Sunday, when the temperature sat in the mid-teens for the duration of the match. Brrrrrr...
A week after breaking their win drought, the Blues were by far the better team early on, taking an 8.4 to 3.3 lead into half-time on the back of improved ball movement, often originating from Kruezer winning the ruck duel against McEvoy. Then the third quarter began and everything changed. It was like a switch and been flicked and things went from black to white, dog to cat and stop to go, and the Hawks sure did! Across the ground Hawthorn players started to win their positions, wearing down their Carlton opponents to kick 10 goals to the Blues 5 across the next two quarters.
You've got to hand it to the Hawks, no matter what gets thrown at them, they can never be written off!

Geelong 15.14.104 defeated West Coast 7.4.46

West Coast had to head over to the East Coast to take on an in-form Geelong outfit at GMHBA Stadium, a venue that has been a tough place for anyone to win at over the past decade. Add to this the sterling form the Catters are in and this would be a big ask from the visiting Eagles, and right from the get-go Geelong showed a greater intensity, and desire, to win the contested football; by the end of the game the Cats lead the Eagles in this area 156-123, a huge difference and one that was unexpected considering who they were playing. Unlike a number of other teams, Geelong kept the pressure up for the entire game, running out very worthy winners who may have just helped every other team playing the Eagles by showing just how to beat them.
While Rohan (14 disp, 10 marks and 4 goals) had another bag of goals up forward, and GAblett (sic) showed he has fully adjusted to his new role across the half-forward line with 28 disp, 7 marks, 8 inside 50s and 2 goals, this win was largely set-up by the Cat's stingy defence sticking to their structures and comprehensively beating their opponents.
With this win, Geelong cements their position at the top of the ladder, and moves a game clear of the pack.

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